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And The Top 10 Cities Around the World Are….

charleston-929080_960_720It’s always interesting to see what travel companies and publications have to say about cities around the world. Travel + Leisure recently put out their awards for the world’s top cities in their annual reader-chose World’s Best Awards. The list of top cities around the world probably won’t surprise many, but it is surprising that three Southern locations in America hit the top ten. The list of the top 10 cities around the world includes:

1. Charleston, South Carolina
2. Chiang Mai, Thailand
3. San Miguel de Allende, Mexico
4. Florence, Italy
5. Luang Prabang, Laos
6. Kyoto, Japan
7. New Orleans, Louisiana
8. Barcelona, Spain
9. Savannah, Georgia
10. Cape Town, South Africa

The best European spots were Florence, Italy for the best city and and Ishcia, Italy for the best island. The Canadian top spots were Quebec City for the top city and Vancouver Island for the top island.

See the whole list here and plan your next adventure accordingly!

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Unusual Digs in New York City

taxi-1252414_960_720If you’re planning to be in the New York area soon, you know that hotels can cost a fortune. Now, there is one really quirky rental that won’t break the bank – a taxi hotel. Yes, you read that correctly. Ten minutes from Times Square someone is offering guests a taxi to sleep in and is listing his idea on Airbnb. He describes the experience as having “swanky living quarters” and it includes a full-sized bed, plush pillows and blankets. Plus, there is a portable air-conditioning unit in it.

While you can’t get a shower with these accommodations, owner Powley will give you a list of gyms where you can wash up. We kid you not.

Most of the guests to date have been backpackers with adventurous spirits.

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Forget Venice & Check Out Giethoorn

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If you’ve never been to Giethoorn in the Netherlands (and which of us has?) it’s time to check it out. This idyllic village is entirely based on water and looks like it comes straight from the pages of a fairytale. There are no roads or cars here and the only way to get to the homes and public buildings is along the canals. There are approximately 2600 people who live here and it includes four miles of canals and farmhouses that go back to the 18th century.

It’s located in the province of Overijssel and was founded around AD1230. And all we can say is WOW!

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Get a Great Sleep…in the Air with Woollip

aeroplane-147495_640If you’re a frequent traveler, this might be the perfect product for you. A father and daughter from Paris have invented a travel pillow called Woollip that offers a more comfortable sleeping position for flying.

The idea of the device is that the passenger can lean on the seat-back tray and it will support their head and upper body as they lean forward. The idea for the pillow comes from the portable massage chair that many airports provide and that shopping malls often have.

Diana Levy, the 21 year old business school graduate, and her father Franck had the idea after sharing a long, uncomfortable flight. They worked on the concept for 18 months with many designers, pilots and physiotherapists to create the right prototype.

When it’s deflated, the device can be rolled into a small bag and it weighs as little as a smartphone. They are starting a Kickstarter Crowdfunding campaign on March 18, which is World Sleep Day, to raise money to get it started.

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A Refreshing Automotive Museum at The Academy of Art University

fair-1182112_960_720There are many automotive museums across America, but few of them have a university connected to them. The Academy of Art University has an Automobile Museum, and it’s worth checking out. The Academy of Art University Automobile Museum is at the Academy in San Francisco. It allows the viewer to catch a glimpse into the history of the art and design of the car. They have a huge selection of cars including Bugatti, Jaguar, Duesenberg, Cadillac, Alfa Romeo and others.

The museum is a non-profit location that allows those who love cars to relish in the enjoyment of viewing them. But what makes this location so unique is that it’s not just for car lovers – but for industrial designers and artists. The museum started because Richard A. Stephens, the former Academy of Art University President, always loved cars. Mr. Stephens wanted to offer automotive design at the Academy and he wanted to combine it with a unique ability for students to study beautifully designed cars and to appreciate the craftsmanship of others.

To this end, the industrial design program uses the museum to study design. Within the School of Industrial Design, they have recently created a new Associate of Arts degree in Automotive Restoration. Led by auto industry leader Tom Matana, they will be training the automobile restorers of the future.

Certainly, it’s not everyday that you see a museum on a college campus dedicated to the learning that the students are doing. And this is one auto museum worth checking out when you’re in San Francisco.

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Best Travel Destinations for 2015

cuba-201357_960_720Skyscanner, the global travel search engine, has released its predictions of the destinations to watch for this coming year. The data included the analysis of millions of Skyscanner flight searches for the last three years in the UK, looking at the locations that had increased in interest the most dramatically.

The winner is Ponta Delgada in Portugal where the interest has increased 63% in recent years. Havana was the second one with a 33% increase in interest, while Tokyo came in number three with a 25% increase. Copenhagen was the fourth with a 21% increase and Cape Verde was number five with a 14% increase.

Cat McGloin, the Skyscanner travel editor, said “With 50 million searches to the site every month from all over the world, our search data gives us some really robust insight in to these trends. It’s interesting to see how people’s travel interests are changing and what these destinations are offering to become even more appealing.”

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